Category Archives: Inspired Snacks

Combinations inspired by proven pairings.

Banana Spring Rolls

So a friend of mine wanted to get lunch yesterday and it had been a while since we’d been anywhere for Thai. As an appetizer, we got these great vegetable spring rolls with a peanut sauce for dipping. It was pretty fantastic. After we were finished eating, I wanted something sweet. I browsed the dessert menu and all they had was a selection of ice creams and mochi. That really wasn’t going to do it for me… so I decided to head home and try my hand at making an Asian inspired dessert.

That’s when I remembered that my favorite Vietnamese restaurant serves banana spring rolls. They’re the perfect kind of sweet, and frying the rice paper in butter gives it a completely different flavor from a traditional oil-fried spring roll. Say WHAT. They’re so delicious. Continue reading

Super Skinny Milkshakes

I love milkshakes. I could probably write an entire post on why they’re amazing and delicious, but then there wouldn’t be any room to share recipes and that’s what I’m here for! So I won’t do that – we’ll just settle for the short version: THEY’RE AMAZING! End of rant. So what’s a person to do when he or she has an obsession for milkshakes but hates the calories and the result of all those calories? Make a skinny milkshake, of course! By using a simple ingredient called xanthan gum, we can make a really delicious, super creamy, filling and fulfilling milkshake with about 1/10 of the calories and no fat. Yes… no fat! Are you excited, yet?

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Concord Grape Caviar

Concord Grape “Caviar”

This is another fantastic molecular gastronomy recipe. However, unlike the “Vanilla Cupcake” shots I made last time, these require a bit more than just gelatin. The final product is so worth it, though! They have a deep purple, almost black color and they pop in your mouth, releasing that sweet grape goodness. And they look convincingly similar to real caviar so you can use them to surprise guests with a dessert that almost looks like an appetizer. I serve mine on squares of shortbread with a sweet mascarpone cream. It tastes like a buttery cheese danish with grape jam. It looks like caviar on a toast point. So deceiving, and so cool! Continue reading

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Homemade Oreos… And They’re Better Than the Real Thing!!

Someone pinch me. Hard. Harder… I must be dreaming. Not only did these little cookies-from-above exceed my every expectation, but they did so even in the “slightly healthier, but not really” category. I came across the original recipe for these on Foodnetwork.com, so I can’t take credit for inventing this amazingness. However, I did add my usual tweaks and modifications to make them my own. Everybody loved them. Loved. I mean it. So try a batch. Maybe take them to a party. And then brace yourself for the ensuing barrage of super awesome popularity. Continue reading

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Rice Crispies Pops

Oh, Rice Crispies Treats… I love them so much. My childhood wouldn’t be the same without them and, let’s be real for a second here, neither would my adult life. I actually haven’t made them in at least a good 10 years, though. So I thought I should break out that old favorite recipe of mine and make these as a special treat for Sunday brunch with friends. Only problem is I couldn’t find that old favorite recipe… Good thing they have it inside the cereal box! Continue reading

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Molecular Vanilla “Cupcakes”

Molecular Gastronomy is an ever-increasingly popular form of cooking that uses ingredients we already know and love to reinvent the way we experience food. One of my favorite molecular cooking techniques is creating food gels. Sometimes this requires special materials, but not always! One easy way to look like a molecular pro is by making Jello shots. I’m all about Jello shots. In fact, I made some just a couple weeks ago for some friends I had over. But these aren’t like any Jello shot you’ve ever had. They’re not fruity, they don’t taste like cough syrup (or even like alcohol, really), and they don’t come from a sugary, just-add-water packet. These little guys are a perfectly mixed cocktail in a beautiful, albeit jiggly dessert! And they’re fantastic. They’re just firm enough, just sweet enough, and – even better – taste like a vanilla cupcake! Try them, you’ll be so happy you did! Continue reading

Coconut Rum and Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

There’s only one way to describe this: Decadent. I love whipped cream and I’m always trying to find ways to add a one-of-a-kind flair when I make it at home. This one is definitely a winner! Start out by chilling your whipping cream so that it’s nice and cold. One of the best tips I’ve ever received in making whipped cream is to make sure everything is cold. So chill your bowl, chill your cream, chill your rum, and if you want to you can even chill your whisk or beater attachments! It’s worth it in the end, this whipped cream is so good you could even eat it on its own! Continue reading